Two American missionaries kidnapped in Haiti more than a month ago were released this Sunday (21), according to a statement from the Christian Aid Ministries, based in the United States.
“We learned that two of the hostages in Haiti were released. We praise God for that! Only limited information can be provided, but we can report that the two hostages are safe, in good spirits and in care,” the organization said on Sunday.
“As we rejoice in this release, our hearts go out to the fifteen people who are still detained,” he added.
The group of 16 Americans and a Canadian were kidnapped by Haitian gang 400 Mawozo while traveling by car northeast of the capital, Port-au-Prince, on 16 October.
Group members include a baby, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, as well as two young teenagers. All come from conservative communities in six US states and Ontario, Canada.
US and Haitian authorities have not publicly commented on whether any of the hostages have been released.
The aid organization and the governments of both countries remained silent on negotiations to free the missionaries. The kidnappers demanded $1 million (about R$5.6 million) per hostage, Haitian Interior and Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told CNN.
Kidnappings requiring ransom in Haiti are common, targeting rich and poor, young and old. Rising crime has accompanied the country’s political instability, with kidnappings increasing in the months following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July.
The 400 Mawozo gang is particularly known for group kidnappings.
“Has a month been so long? We think back to the early days, when our hopes were pinned on a quick response and a timely release, and our hearts cry out, ‘Lord, how much longer must this go on?’” wrote the mother of one of the hostages in a Christian Aid statement Minisries released on November 19th.
Reference: CNN Brasil